NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 11 – Kenyans Eliud Kipchoge and Mary Keitany were named male and female marathon runners of the year for 2017 by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) at the AIMS Best Marathon Runner (BMR) Gala in Athens on Friday.
Kipchoge and Keitany were voted for by the AIMS members, representing 435 of the world’s leading and most prestigious races from 114 countries and territories, including the Athens Marathon, The Authentic, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Comrades, New York, Paris and Tokyo Marathons.
This is the third consecutive year that Kipchoge, 33, has been recognised with the AIMS Best Marathon Runner Award. In September, Kipchoge won the BMW Berlin Marathon in a world-leading time of 2:03:32.
In May, Kipchoge took part in an assisted time trial on the Monza Formula 1 track sponsored by Nike. The aim of the event was to break the two-hour barrier for a marathon. He narrowly missed, reaching the finish in 2:00:25. Kipchoge was unable to attend.
Keitany received the award for the fifth time, drawing her level with Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain.
Keitany, 35, was presented with the AIMS World Record award earlier this month in recognition of her women’s only Marathon world record breaking performance of 2:17:01 at the Virgin Money London Marathon on 23 April 2017.
“I am honoured to be recognised with this award by the race directors of AIMS membership,” Keitany said. “I have been very pleased with my form this year and this award, in front of such a big gathering of the marathon community in Athens, the birthplace of our sport, is a great recognition of my efforts.”
“Eliud and Mary have truly set the standard in 2017,” said AIMS President Paco Borao. “I am delighted to see their accomplishments recognised on behalf of our 435 members and sponsors in the home of the marathon in Athens, Greece.”
Rosa Mota of Portugal, the 1987 world, 1988 Olympic and three-time European marathon champion, was presented with the AIMS Lifetime Achievement Award.
“I am honoured to be presented with this award,”said Mota, who also won marathons in Rotterdam, Chicago (twice), Tokyo, Boston (three times), Osaka and London during her distinguished career.
The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon was presented with the AIMS Green Award for their commitment to environmentally friendly practices. For the 2016 event, the entire carbon footprint was measured and offset leading to climate neutral certification.
In total, 331 tons of CO2e was offset by supporting three local South African charity projects – Wonderbag, Reliance Compost and Basa Magogo. The race also achieved a zero waste to land-fill policy in the 2017 race.
The Maratón de las Flores Medellín was received the AIMS Social Award in recognition of their support for social causes. In 2017, race organisers committed to support United for Colombia, a landmine charity, a race organised by a breast cancer charity and Pasos de Felicidad, a movement of young runners raising money for disadvantaged communities.